struggles


So, I’ve been gone from the blogging scene as well, for many different reasons. Life is just too hectic for me right now and it’s sad because I started out so well last week. I went to the gym 3x and worked out, I walked to work for a few days, and I cooked meals in my apartment – really good meals. Then work got busy and life got busy and *poof* out the window. Most of it had to do with a really bad day I had last week.

I’ve always tended towards having a mood disorder. It’s nothing diagnosed or anything and I’m not on medication, but my moods are wacky. They are affected by so many things – my jobs, my friends, boys. Any small setback can take me from happy and smiling to feeling frustrated and depressed. When I was in middle school, I spent most of my time in a haze of teenage angst – writing angry poetry, cursing my parents, and occasionally cutting. I don’t know if I’ve ever spoken about that part of my life – it didn’t seem serious at the time and to me it still doesn’t, but I know that it was a personal low. I’ve never EVER done anything like that since then, but I have had my mood swings. My freshman year of college, I spent most of it sleeping because I was depressed and it was hard to get acclimated. Sophomore year, all of my activities depressed me in the same way and I felt awful 99% of the time – lots of tears and crying. When I get like that, I neglect my health, which is exactly what happened last week. I got upset about work, came home, drank several glasses of wine, and cried my eyes out. It was awful. Couple that with a new man in my life and trouble with my friends and it was a recipe for disaster. I drank, stopped going to the gym, and just sat around wallowing. So not cute.

I’m hoping to really stick this out and be serious about getting healthy and feeling better about myself. It’s just a process. In the words of Talib Kweli – “Life is a beautiful struggle.” I’m going to try my darndest to end up on top.

I’m not sure who I’ve told and who I haven’t, but when I was in middle school, I had an eating disorder.  I alternated between A and B, and as a result, I never had the omg-I-weigh-60-lbs freak out.  I was incredibly unhealthy and it took me over a year to confess this to my family.  My health was out of whack– physical and mental– and I had this obsession with the aspect of eating disorders that is my best friend and my worst enemy– CONTROL.  I had an answer for everything in order to stay thin– if I felt fat, I didn’t eat.  If I couldn’t control my hunger, I ate so much that I threw it all up anyway.

It  took me a couple of years, but I got some very effective treatment, and I haven’t defined myself as having A or B in a long, long time.  Problem is, now I have a new set of problems.

I spent so much time and mental energy learning to accept that my body needed food, and then I got carried away. Food became a comfort for me.  At first, I never associated any guilt with eating, regardless of how much I ate, because I felt like I was a superstar just for eating and keeping it down.  It took a few years, and that got out of hand.  Now, food is my response to stress, my response to general anguish, my response to anger.  It calms me down, and I feel like it’s ‘leftovers’ from my treatment back-in-the-day.

I’m writing about binging because the other day, for the first time in several years, I actually considered purging my food after a stress-induced binge.  I didn’t do it, but the fact that it was even a consideration is scary.  I thought to myself– ‘you know, being thin and struggling with A and B might actually be preferable to feeling not-quite-thin-enough (I want to be 20 lbs lighter, that’s all– but it feels miles away) and binging in a way that keeps the pounds on…’

I don’t think that I’ll ever go back to A and B, thank Gd.   Still, I feel like I need to recognize the way that I deal with food now as a type of disordered eating– and DEAL WITH IT as I dealt with A and B– because it’s taking over my life.  Again.

Not in water, so no worries.
Food is a struggle– some things to celebrate, some things to freak out about.

Tuesday’s Eats:

Breakfast:

  • 2 eggs, sunny-side up, with garlic, crushed tomatoes, and pepper:

img_5426Very, Very tasty!

  • fat-free yogurt with a tsp of lemon juice

Lunch:

  • Best Quick Oats combo that I’ve had in a while:

img_5438I took an apple from work and walked home (well, to the housesitting gig) to make Quick Oats with apple, cinnamon, 1 tbsp of peanut butter, skim milk, and sweet-n-low.  AMAZING.

Unnecessary Snack:

  • Right– so this is the point in the day during which I ate a 400 calorie cinnamon bun.  Why?  Because a co-worker literally put it in my face right after I’d gotten into a screaming match (yes, screaming match) with my boss.  So upset that I did this *again*!

Dinner:

  • Chickpea and tuna salad with zatar and 2 tbsp of hummus:

img_5441Also very tasty!

  • Soy patty with garlic and olive oil

After Dinner:

  • Decaf coffee with a tsp of cocoa powder and skim milk– inspired by Eating Bender‘s coffee cocoa.  Very, very good– but I don’t really need to put cocoa in my coffee.  It feels excessive while I’m battling an addiction to sweets and avoiding chocolate.
  • 200 calories worth of toffee that my roommate left laying on the table.  Ugh.
  1. The good parts of today were the fact that I had a *lot* of water and have been keeping up with that goal meticulously, the fact that I’m still coffee free, and the fact that I made tasty meals that were satisfying three times.  Nothing on the go, nothing mediocre.
  2. It would have been a perfect day if I hadn’t had the toffee and the cinnamon bun.  Your suggestions have been on the mark, and despite the fact that I am *extremely* stressed right now, I need to put them in action.  Today I’m going to  try doing something else when I’m stressed, and making room for *small* portions of sweets to see if that will curb the craving.

Really want to blog about everything that is stressing me out, but I have to get going.  More later.

Monday was one of these days that I don’t really know how to characterize, because it was full of ups and downs.  I’m really stressed out right now– about health and food, about men, about work, about money, about my future– and I need to get it together.

Today is ‘rosh chodesh’– basically, a new month on the Jewish calendar.  I’m not very religious (though I toy with it), but since I’ve lived in Israel and people actually semi-acknowledge rosh chodesh, I’ve always tried to look at the new month as a chance to start over.  This month (Adar, btw), I’m definitely going to try and do that in many respects.  More on that later…

Monday’s food:

Breakfast:

  • Quick Oats w/ 1 tbsp of peanut butter, cinnamon, and sweet-n-low (another attempt at having protein for breakfast– and it was *very* tasty– I was full until lunch, which is definitely an accomplishment)

Lunch:

  • Had another lunch that is provided by my workplace– same boring lunch as yesterday, basically– in an effort to save money, and because I’m not ‘home’ to make my usual lunches:  tuna on a (white) roll w/ tomato and light mayo
  • a few spoonfuls of cottage cheese

Snack:

  • 2 maple cookies  — I had this right after lunch and so I wasn’t even hungry– I just needed something sweet.  I’m trying to internalize some of your advice and accept that this is OK as long as I don’t binge and go overboard.

Dinner:

  • My friend that just got back from Canada gave me a bottle of real maple syrup, which is hard to come by in Israel (and obviously, the best comes from Canada!):

img_54241So, naturally, R and I made pancakes for dinner (and I’m still looking for a unique recipe to make use of the syrup)….

img_54221Pancakes were okay– we burnt a few (also pictured!) and we used margarine instead of butter– which simply doesn’t work. It’s not that they were bad, but I feel like in the future, if I’m going to *indulge* in pancakes, I’m going to make them the right way.  You really need that buttery flavor.

Kept up with my water intake, too– which helped.

  1. Ate pancakes beyond when I stopped being hungry.  It just felt like such a treat and I had just come home from a *VERY* stressful day at work (and was on my way back after dinner to deal with more stress) and I did the whole stress-eating  thing.  I’m not terribly upset about it, but I need to keep my promise to myself to really work on this.
  2. I need to remember to bring a whole wheat roll on days that I’m going to surrender to the office tuna for lunch.  I just don’t feel healthy when I eat a  big, white roll.
  3. Next time, one maple cookie should do the trick 🙂
  4. Definitely need to keep up with the protein for breakfast trend.  It makes *such* a difference.

I feel like all of my ups and downs in terms of food are  related to the ups and downs of my life in general.  I’m going to take an hour today to write about everything that is stressing me out and to come up with proactive ways to deal with it all.  I come home every day and just want to collapse in my bed and forget it all– and shockingly enough, it’s not helping 🙂  Maybe I’ll blog about some of this stuff later, when I have more clarity.

xo

Today was typical of an office environment;  a co-worker came back from three weeks in Canada and we were all ecstatic to see her.  In Israel, ecstatic= food.  She brough back a ton of maple candy and cookies, and everyone sat around to hear about the family wedding that she’d just a ttented and to eat.  I had already eaten lunch and *was not* hungry, so I told myself to drink my water, concentrate on the conversation, and just stay away.  After sitting there for an hour, I literally couldn’t take it anymore. I had no self-control.  I have a few pieces of maple candy and a bunch of cookies– something to the tune of 6.  If i had just had one or two, I wouldn’t be dwelling– but I completely binged.  I want to understand why, and I need to come up with ways of avoiding this!  If the only way for me to avoid eating crap that my body doesn’t want OR need is to stay locked in my apartment, that doesn’t really help me much.

Rest of the day was fine, though none of the food was terribly exciting:

Breakfast:

  • Quick Oats with Sweet-N-Low, two tbsp of peanut butter, and a splash of skim milk.
  • Decaf coffee with skim

Lunch:

  • Tuna with light mayo and tomato– on a roll– but it was white bread and kind of big.  It was what we had around the office and I didn’t want to go buy a whole wheat one– but I should have.

After Lunch Binge:

  • See above

Dinner:

  • Burrito with rice, an egg, sweet garlic sauce, and onion.  It was  just me throwing together snacks, but it was really tasty.  I had to force myself to eat dinner because I was tempted to skip a meal since I’d binged on cookies… I guess that it’s good that I didn’t.
  1. I’m really at a loss when it comes to understanding WHY I binged.  I couldn’t resist the temptation, it was a social situation?  Really don’t know.
  2. I am really sick of housesitting and want to go home to the collection of healthy food that I’ve built up over the past month.  I just brough some *scraps* here and my meals are getting dull, which is not encouraging me to do things like avoid binges.  Less than a week left, though.
  3. Didn’t drink enough water today!  Gotta fix that.
  4. Chocolate and coffee are still out of the picture!
  5. Adding a bit of peanut butter for a protein burst seems to be good.  It really helped with breakfast.  I need to find a lower-calorie peanut butter, though (that tastes good).  Probably difficult to find in Israel, which is annoying!

Really hoping to make today a much, much better day.  We’ll see.

Hope everyone has a good one–!

My job is frustrating me, almost to the point of tears because I feel like someone’s burying me alive as I try and get out of the hole they’ve dug. They just keep pouring that dirt on and anytime I get close to getting out, someone dumps another shovelful. So in that vein, I didn’t exercise, and I made poor food choices. Lovely. Here’s the recap

Breakfast

  • 1/2 package of Fage yogurt, sweetened with honey
  • 1 piece of amaretto challah french toast, topped with brown sugar and walnuts (so good, but so bad!)

Lunch

  • 2 puebla chicken tacos with cheese, salsa, and sour cream

Snack

  • 1 oz. pirate’s booty

Dinner

  • 2 forkfuls of beef stew with noodles (so gross I couldn’t finish, but I was working late and it was what they were serving)

Snack

  • 1 1/2 glasses of wine
  • Sleeve of Town House crackers

Ugh, I am so disgusted with myself. I just wish I had time to eat the way I want to. What I really want to know is how do you deal with stress and eating? Honestly – when your job makes you want to cry and you’re in the office til late, how do you ensure that you get the right nutrients? I don’t understand it. Clearly.

When I think about my desire to learn to live a healthier lifestyle and what sorts of things make that difficult, my friends come to mind.

Layla and I– in starting this blog– have developed a mutual trust. We, in addition to a couple of my close friends, can be supportive and keep our own emotions and struggles out of the picture when we’re talking about the others’ issues with food and exercise. Other than that, though, my friends are often my worst enemy when it comes to food.

First, there are the friends that don’t take this whole journey seriously. I get up the nerve to tell them that I’m trying to be healthy and that hey, I’d rather not go out to eat every time we hang out and that I’d prefer to use whole wheat pasta when we cook together– and then they pressure me to do otherwise. Why can’t these people be supportive? I definitely respect their choices to eat as they please and to not pay so much attention to health (I think that it’s a shame, but I don’t try and change their minds), so why can’t they respect my goals? I have to take responsibility for my own actions, I know that. Still, it would be so much easier to avoid *food disasters* if my friends were encouraging. I have enough issues with self-control and having friends that essentially want me to lose this battle with myself– well, it sucks.

Then, there are my friends that are also either dieting or trying to be healthier. You would think that we would be a support network for one another, and like I said, with a few close friends, that’s true. Still, I have several friends that just don’t feel like we’re ‘in it together.’ These friends resent it when I’m making healthy choices and they aren’t; this results in them pressuring me to ‘cave in.’ One of the stories that really, really sticks out in my mind is something that happened several months ago. I was completely healthy and ate well all day, and then went out for a night with a few girlfriends. We ended up drinking a lot and I told myself that I would *not* eat a second dinner (pizza, etc.), which is a habit that I picked up back in college when I drank wayyy too much. My friends inevitably ended up at the pizza place and I waited quietly, without ordering. My ‘friend’, also a health conscious person, literally waved her pizza in my face and said ‘you know you want to order some! just do it!’ It was so obvious to me that she just wanted me to join in her indulgence, and to this day, I *still* resent her for being so selfish. It was difficult enough to be pretty tipsy and to make a healthy choice (after having made an unhealthy one), and she didn’t care. She just wanted to ‘go down’ together.

I doubt that I’ll change these people, but I need to learn how to deal with them. Who can I ask for support from, and how? Ugh.